A Haskell Indian Junior College freshman has been elected president of the Student Congress of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, a national group that promotes higher education for Native Americans.
Ed Rose, a member of the Karuk tribe from Fort Jones, Calif., was named president of the Student Congress last week at AIHEC's conference in Billings, Mont.
As president, Rose will oversee student delegates from each of the 28 colleges that belong to AIHEC. Most of the colleges are tribally controlled, but Haskell, a Bureau of Indian Affairs college, belongs to the organization. Twenty-six of the Native American colleges are in the United States, and two are in Canada.
ROSE, WHO plans to be a computer engineer, said he was surprised he was elected president of the congress.
"It was the first (AIHEC) meeting I went to," Rose said.
AIHEC's Student Congress is comparable to the Student Advisory Committee that works with the Kansas Board of Regents. But the Student Congress operates on a national level instead of a state level.
Shawn Braun, Haskell's Student Senate president, nominated Rose and helped him campaign during the conference.
He said a turning point for the campaign came Friday, when Braun and Rose hosted a reception for students attending the conference. Braun said he thought Native American students were ready for new blood in the Student Congress' leadership.
Issues that Rose said he would like to address as president include making the student seat on the AIHEC board of directors an official position. Currently, the student representative on the board does not have voting power. Rose said he would like to change that.
ROSE ALSO would like to expand the number of officers in the Student Congress by two. Currently, there are four officers: president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. Rose would like to add a sergeant-at-arms and a historian. AIHEC's vice president attends Blackfeet Community College in Browning, Mont.; the secretary attends Standing Rock College in Fort Yates, N.D.; and the treasurer attends United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, N.D.
Braun said Rose's position was an honor for Haskell.
Braun also received an honor during the AIHEC conference: He was awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the American Indian College Fund. Hannes Combest, executive education assistant at Haskell, said the fund awarded $10,000 in scholarships to Haskell students last year.
To qualify for the scholarship, Braun, a Cherokee from Tallequah, Okla., was required to earn at least a 3.25 grade point average and demonstrate campus and community involvement.